Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, former UFC Welterweight and Middleweight Champion Georges St-Pierre weighed in on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win and subsequent retirement at UFC 254 and discussed where he fit into the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) discussion.
The MMA legend asserted that Nurmagomedov beat Justin Gaethje everywhere, be it on the feet, on the mat as well as in other aspects of the fight including exerting a huge amount of pressure on Gaethje.
St-Pierre also weighed in on Khabib being the GOAT and claimed that it was a fluid discussion. He said that moments arise in fighters' careers when they earn GOAT status - like when Anderson Silva front kick KO'ed Vitor Belfort in the face, when Jon Jones defeated Daniel Cormier or Alexander Gustafsson or with Khabib's 'best ever' performance at UFC 254 when he ran roughshod over Justin Gaethje.
St-Pierre even included Israel Adesanya in the GOAT discussion, praising the middleweight champion for dismantling Paulo Costa at UFC 253.
Additionally, St-Pierre explained that generally, tragedies such as one’s father passing away tend to have a negative influence on a fighter’s performance.
GSP continued that Nurmagomedov overcame the challenges posed by the tragedy in his personal life (the death of Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov) and used it as a source of motivation to fulfill his father’s dream.
Furthermore, St-Pierre added that the win at UFC 254 was a great way for Nurmagomedov to finish his career.
Georges St-Pierre opined that Nurmagomedov now has many choices in life, and continues to be the perfect role model to the community.
GSP did note, however, that he’s quite surprised by Khabib’s retirement – St-Pierre indicated that the MMA media had lately been reporting that Khabib Nurmagomedov intends to take his MMA record to 30-0, which is why it is a tad surprised that The Eagle retired with a record of 29-0.
Regardless, Georges St-Pierre asserted that he respects Nurmagomedov’s decision to retire from the sport of MMA.
Georges St-Pierre congratulates Khabib and refrains from calling him out
Georges St-Pierre said that he doesn’t want to call out Nurmagomedov right now, and that refraining from calling him out for a fight would currently be the respectful and right thing to do.
St-Pierre noted that it’s because Khabib Nurmagomedov needs time to mourn as he’s going through the personal tragedy of losing his father.
GSP would love to fight Khabib but he’s very happy to see Khabib retire on top. St-Pierre clarified that in case Nurmagomedov decides to return someday, he might consider facing him.
The legendary two-weight champion also had a spot of advice for the Dagestani fighter.
“Khabib, follow your heart. Follow what makes you happy and what makes people who you love happy. And no pressure; take the right decision at the right time, and the possibilities for you are limitless. Now you can do whatever you want. Congratulations. What an amazing career. It was a perfect fight and a perfect career that you have.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
What are your views on Georges St-Pierre’s statements regarding Khabib Nurmagomedov? Sound off in the comments.Published 25 Oct 2020, 10:59 IST